TORONTO — Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo was two questions in to his post-game media availability Tuesday night when he took a few seconds to adjust his uniform.
"I'm still sweating," he said with a smile.
The perspiration was understandable given that his team had managed to hang on for yet another one-run win.
Alejandro Kirk hit a pair of two-run homers to power Toronto to a 6-5 victory over the Chicago White Sox and help the Blue Jays extend their winning streak to a season-high six games.
Closer Jordan Romano, Toronto's fifth reliever of the night, gave up back-to-back singles before earning his 16th save. The Blue Jays lead the major leagues with 15 one-run victories this season.
"It's a little stressful, I'm not going to lie," said Toronto starter Kevin Gausman. "But it's good. I think it will really benefit us when it comes to crunch time (later in the year)."
Kirk went deep off Chicago starter Lucas Giolito (3-2) in the second inning and connected again in Toronto's four-run fifth. He also had a single to raise his batting average to .304.
"He's not striking out and he puts the ball in play," Montoyo said. "It doesn't surprise me because I've already seen him (hit well). So he's doing it again."
It was Kirk's third career multi-homer game. Toronto (28-20) has won 10 of its last 13 games.
"These guys never get down and it seems like any time the opposing team takes the lead, they know right away to get right back on the horse and get those runs back," said Gausman, who allowed three earned runs over five innings.
"As a starting pitcher, you always feel like you're in the game."
Andrew Vaughn, who had a game-high four hits, smacked a solo homer off Gausman (5-3) in the first inning. Toronto cleanup hitter Teoscar Hernandez doubled in the second and scored on Kirk's rainbow homer.
Chicago (23-24) scored a pair in the fifth inning for a short-lived 3-2 lead. George Springer sparked Toronto's rally in the bottom half with a check-swing flare that floated into shallow right field.
Bo Bichette sent him to third with a double and both scored easily when Hernandez hit a sinking liner that escaped the grasp of diving centre-fielder Adam Engel.
Kirk then turned on a 2-1 pitch for his third homer of the season.
"I'm just trying to be more selective and looking for the pitch that I want," he said. "I'm trying not to chase and it's getting the results that I'm looking for."
Chicago scratched out two more runs in the sixth but missed a golden opportunity to tie the game.
With Reese McGuire on third base and Danny Mendick at first with one out, Yasmani Grandal lifted a fly ball to left field.
The ball was deep enough to score a run but Lourdes Gurriel Jr. threw to second base to get Mendick trying to tag up on the play. Second baseman Cavan Biggio applied the tag for the double play before McGuire crossed the plate.
"He just came in and apologized," White Sox manager Tony LaRussa said of Mendick. "I said, 'First of all, tagging up on that play is a good play, but you’ve got a throw right in front of you. If the throw goes there, you’ve just got to stop.'
"He stops, the run scores. You can’t get tagged out there."
Bichette made a nice play to help snuff a Chicago threat in the eighth inning. With two runners on, he backhanded a Grandal chopper and made a hard throw that Guerrero squeezed at first base after a one-hop for the final out.
Romano, from Markham, Ont., got Jake Burger to ground into a 5-4 double-play before striking out Gavin Sheets to end the game.
Announced attendance was 25,424 and the game took three hours 24 minutes to play.
White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson was added to the 10-day injured list due to a right groin strain. He's expected to miss at least three weeks.
Chicago activated outfielder Luis Robert off the COVID-19 injured list and placed right-handers Kendall Graveman and Dylan Cease on the restricted list.
The White Sox also recalled right-hander Kyle Crick from triple-A Charlotte and released left-hander Dallas Keuchel, who was placed on unconditional waivers on Monday.
Before the game, the Blue Jays recalled right-hander Trent Thornton from triple-A Buffalo and designated left-hander Ryan Borucki for assignment.
The game kicked off a six-game homestand for the Blue Jays, who are 15-8 at home this season.
Left-hander Hyun Jin Ryu (2-0, 5.48) is scheduled to start Wednesday night against Chicago right-hander Michael Kopech (1-1, 1.29). The teams will wrap the three-game series with a matinee on Thursday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 31, 2022.
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Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press